Gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter may have formed not from a planetary core, but rather from tiny pebbles that stuck together. This theory would solve one of the biggest problems about our understanding of planetary formation: the timeline. The previous model was called core accretion: you have a planetary core of rock and ice that starts to attract and keep
Planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our Sun. This extremely exciting announcement was made by NASA today; while this doesn’t mean that the planet is inhabited, it does mean that it has many of the characteristics that our own Earth-Sun system have, and the odds of it hosting life seem significant.
Astronomers have discovered a whopping 854 new ultra-dark galaxies which might have large quantities of the elusive dark matter, which makes out most of our universe.
Researchers have long known that Mars has water in the form of ice, but now, after years and years of research, we might finally have the decisive clue that our planetary neighbor has liquid water on its surface. The key find was perchlorate – a substance that significantly lowers the freezing point, so that water doesn’t freeze into ice, but remains liquid and briny.
It almost sounds too cheesy to be true: NASA wants to send a shuttle to an asteroid, pluck a piece of it, then make it return to the Moon and orbit it. Then, brave astronauts will go and retrieve the sample, bringing it back to Earth for study. But that’s exactly what astronomers and engineers at the space agency want to do.
A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. While he was examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, John Parsley from the University of York found that interfering plasma generates a series of pressure pulses – in other words, sounds.
A new shocking theory suggests that Jupiter may have sweeped through our solar system much like a wrecking ball, knocking planets out of the solar system our moving them outwards, to the position we see them in today. If this is true, then it might explain why our solar system is a rarity and why life emerged the way it did.
They’re considered a hybrid between asteroids and comets, but still, they’re called minor planets; they also bear the name of the fabled man-horse creatures in Greek mythology – centaurs. Now, scientists have found that a Centaur in our solar system, Chiron, might have rings just like those of Saturn.
According to Danish and Australian researchers, there are billions of the stars in the Milky Way located in the “habitable zone”, where liquid water might exist, and with it, life as we know it.
Extraterrestrial life in our solar system just got a lot more likely: NASA has found convincing evidence that Ganymede and Enceladus, moons of Jupiter and Saturn respectively, might both harbor salty oceans beneath their frozen surface. Scientists estimate that the oceans are over 50 miles thick (80 km), which greatly increases the chances of alien life.